If the vehicle is part of a network, what makes that combination desirable? I argue that the forum members have already spoken. We all want long range, well-located DCFC, and high charge rates.

Placing these ideas in a proportional equation, one can get a number that could represent a

**. (The equation rewards desired factors by placing them in the numerator, where larger is better. Undesirable factors are in the denominator, where smaller the better.)**

*VN Merit (Vehicle-Network Merit)*It’s a bit of algebra that says:

we want to see a lot of fueling stations between full and empty (the first term) and,

when we get to the fueling station, we want to be able to fill quickly (the second term).

If you translate the second part into battery terms, it's really a definition of C, the charge rate in kW divided by the battery capacity in kWh.

**The first question is: What is the typical ICE VN Merit?**

We need to first consider the ‘Gasoline’ network. We have about 100,000 fueling locations spread over about 2.96 million square miles of land area in the contiguous US. Distributing these uniformly (I know, gas stations are not uniformly distributed…) we have one gas station every 30 square miles or so. That’s a square of about 5.5 miles on a side (again, I know this should be a hex cell, but it doesn’t change the VN Merit significantly.) On the average, we only need to drive 5.5 miles to get to a gas station.

The ICE vehicle is simple. Just choose any mid-range sedan, hatchback, or CUV. These have a 15-gallon tank and get 30 miles to the gallon. That gives a range of 450 miles.

For fueling, the common gas dispenser has no problem pumping 5 gallons a minute or 180 gallons an hour.

Combining, we get: 450(miles)/5.5(miles) x 180 (gallons/hr.)/15 gallons

**ICE VN MERIT 982**

How do the EV VN Merits compare?

How do the EV VN Merits compare?

We all recognize at least three Vehicle-Network ‘environments’

- A Tesla environment of about 2500 Supercharger locations, cars with ranges of 300 miles, charge rates of 144kW, and batteries of about 70kWh (Tesla M3 LR dual motor).

- A 50kW environment populated by BOLT and Hyundai Kona that have ranges of around 250 miles, charge rates topping out at 60kW, and about 62kWh batteries. There are about 1,100 evGO or ChargePoint locations, and about 300 EA locations (thanks @Usain) serving this environment.

- A 100kW plus environment populated by Jaguar iPace, Porsche Taycan, and other super-premium offerings. Batteries are approximately 95kW although EPA driving ranges are in the low 200 miles. To date, only about 300 Electrify America locations serve this network with charge rates of 150kW to 350kW.

- Tesla: A supercharger every 35 miles.
**Tesla VN Merit = 18**

- 50kW world: A charger every 46 miles.
**50kW (BOLT) VN Merit = 4.3**

- 350kW world (Porsche Taycan—just for fun: 93kWh battery, 270kW charge rate, 204-mile EPA range): An EA charger every 100 miles.

Porsche Taycan VN Merit = 5.9

- If Tesla can achieve sell a lot of TM3s with a VN Merit of 18 compared to an ICE VN Merit of 981, there is a genius in their design.
- Companies trying to introduce EVs solely on vehicle specifications, without considering a charging network, are going to suffer disappointments. (See: Jaguar iPace, or GM's reluctance to support, collaborate, or invest in charging, etc.)

- If we are used to an ICE VN Merit of 981, how can many of us be happy with the BOLT? Or a Tesla?
- If we are happy with the BOLT, or Kona, or Tesla, do we really need all the ICE network?

**If the EV network works for a lot of drivers, then the ICE network is wildly overbuilt and overcapitalized. That means it can only get squeezed for cash and get smaller.**(Do you see private investors running to put up gas stations? )

As @NewsCoulomb implied, EVs will see improvement in their network while ICE will see deterioration of theirs. (There is a long way down—closing 75% of gas stations still gives a VN merit of 500.)

As a last note, there is an interesting little quirk challenging the $150,000+ EV super cars. Rearranging the VN Merit relationship for BEV gives:

Battery capacity divided by efficiency is just the range in miles. The Battery capacity terms cancel leaving:

*That's surprising.*The battery size is not important once you choose the desired range and charging network**.**The only metric for VN Merit is the ratio of how fast you can charge divided by how fast you use it.

You can tout 90, 100, 150kWh batteries, but if your design guzzles electrons you need to drive higher and higher charge rates to keep a reasonable VN Metric. Soon, you will run out of chargers or must invest in very new technologies. It's like having a 6mpg 1-ton pickup with 85 gallon saddle tanks; you are going to pay for it in the end.

Just consider the following, calculating only the charge/efficiency ratio.

**BOLT (for fun): (50kW charge rate)/(0.256kWh/mile) = 195**

Taycan: (270kW charge rate)/(0.455 kWh/mile) = 593

(A Taycan at a 100kW station is not much better than a BOLT; at a 50kW station it looks like a 500e)

TM3: (144kW charge rate)/(0.27kWh/mile)= 533! (Tesla is already near an EA level, and that's before V3 supercharging.)

Taycan: (270kW charge rate)/(0.455 kWh/mile) = 593

(A Taycan at a 100kW station is not much better than a BOLT; at a 50kW station it looks like a 500e)

TM3: (144kW charge rate)/(0.27kWh/mile)= 533! (Tesla is already near an EA level, and that's before V3 supercharging.)

This is not to mock the Taycan or publicize Tesla. It means the race will go not to the group that builds the biggest, fastest, most ludicrous vehicle, but to the group that builds EVs with a matched network in mind.